From Dennis and Jane Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Outdoor remodeling is a great way to boost a home's value and enjoyment factor. Here are some of the top value-for-money outdoor projects, along with important Moving Day tips as we approach the peak of moving season.
Dennis and Jane Guertin
(952) 442-1300 Direct

Outdoor Projects With Bang for Your Buck

The National Association of REALTORS® teamed up with the National Association of Landscape Professionals in 2016 to determine which outdoor projects pay off best.* Here are some picks from their list of winners:

1. New Deck or Patio

While neither project is a typical "pre-listing" task, they both do well in terms of the estimated percent of value recovered for the homeowner.

New Wood Deck:
- Cost: $9,450. Cost Recovered: 106%.

New Patio:
- Cost: $6,400. Cost Recovered: 102%.

2. Landscape Upgrade

This project involved adding a 30-foot long walkway of natural flagstone, along with two large stone planters, flowering shrubs, a 15-foot tall tree, and landscaping bark.

- Cost: $4,750. Cost Recovered: 105%.

3. Sod Lawn

Sodding 1,000 square feet of lawn resulted in a strong payoff.

- Cost: $700. Cost Recovered: 143%.

4. Softscape Upgrade

Trees, shrubs, perennials, natural edging, and boulder accents were installed.

- Cost: $7,000. Cost Recovered: 100%.

5. Firepit or Outdoor Fireplace

These are also not common pre-listing projects, but in terms of enjoying a home they can really open up its usability and entertainment options.

- Cost: $4,500. Cost Recovered: 78%.

Outdoor Fireplace:
- Cost: $13,300. Cost Recovered: 60%.

Not included in the survey but worth a mention: Outdoor cooking areas are becoming increasingly popular. Regardless of whether the location is a condo balcony or a house patio, a well-appointed outdoor area that allows for easy entertaining makes a home more usable while increasing the perceived living space.

* The cost and the percent of value recovered for these projects are estimates and can vary according to location. Click here to see the full report and list of all projects.

3 Good Questions to Ask Before Moving Day

Asking these questions can mean the difference between experiencing a smooth transition or a cautionary tale:

1. "How are my belongings insured?"

The default insurance (Released Value Protection) covers your items at only 60 cents per pound for interstate moves, and sometimes less for in-state moves. This means if your 100-pound 72" flat-screen TV gets dropped or disappears, your reimbursement could be only $60.

Tip: Ask the mover about Full Value Protection, which is usually reasonable in cost and offers far better coverage. You can also purchase third-party moving insurance.

(Home insurance policies often do not cover non-catastrophic moving losses, especially after the items leave your property.)

2. "Is this a moving company or a moving broker?"

People often think they're dealing with the company that will be performing their move, when in reality they may be talking to a broker who contracts with other firms. This makes it much harder to research the company that will actually show up on moving day.

3. "Will I have to pay more than the estimate?"

Not if you receive a "Binding Not-to-Exceed" (the best option) or a "Binding" estimate, which means you can't be charged more than the estimate amount once the goods are on the truck.

A "Non-Binding" estimate leaves more room for the final price to change prior to delivery.

Protect Your Move recommends never accepting an over-the-phone estimate - it should be based on an on-site evaluation.

What the lawyers make us say: The information here is not presented as expert legal or financial advice. Please use your best judgment and consult professionals when necessary.
Recent Market Highlights
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- U.S. home prices rose 5.9 percent year-to-year in January, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. They rose 7 percent year-to-year in February, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is in the low 4-percent range.

The February Pending Home Sales Index rose 2.6 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Contact Us for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call us at 952-442-1300.
View Our Featured Home Listings
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Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

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A great list of warning signs to be aware of prior to hiring or using a moving company.

Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
A great springtime recipe. (It's rhubarb in a crispy dessert setting - how bad could it be? :)

The Lighter Side

"Mom, get my toy!" is the theme of this cute video that shows a smart mother cat stepping in to help her kitten.

Click here or on the image to watch the video on the family-friendly website.

Your Resource for Real Estate
Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that we're always here to help you. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with our expertise and recommendations.

Please give us a call today at (952) 442-1300 if we can be of assistance!
Have a great day,

Dennis and Jane Guertin
Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, CRS, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI, BA
Guertin Family Realty

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Guertin Family Realty | 71 Point Drive | Waconia | MN | 55387